Major Twitter investor calls for Dorsey to stay

Steven Loeb · June 15, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3e3a

Prince Alwaleed reverses his previous comments, now says he would support Dorsey as full-time CEO

Since Dick Costolo revealed last week that he was stepping down from his position as CEO of Twitter, the open question has been: who will take over for him?

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, was named CEO on an interim basis, but it seems unlikely that Dorsey will be taking the job at Twitter permanently, as he will continue to be the CEO of Square, the payment company he co-founded.

Or would he? At least one prominent Twitter investor now seems to be openly endorsing the idea.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the nephew of the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, made $300 million investment in Twitter in December 2011 for a 3% stake in the company. And now he'd like a say about who gets to be in charge, telling Reuters on Monday that he believes it would be a good thing for Dorsey to once again lead the company. 

Alwaleed said in a written statement that he "knew Dorsey well and that as one of the founders who knows the company very well he would bring the needed continuity."

"And I will add now that should Mr. Dorsey wish to take on the CEO role, I would support him," he said.

Interestingly, these comment are a direct reversal of Alwaleed's previous comment on the matter. In fact, just the day before, on Sunday, Alaweed was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that he thought it would be best if Dorsey stayed at Square.

“Jack has another company called Square which requires a lot of attention and a full-time job round there. I believe and trust that Jack Dorsey is there on a temporary basis,” he said.

“The new leader has to have tech savviness, an investor-oriented process and a marketing mentality.”

As far as I can tell, so far Alwaleed seems to be the only Twitter investor to be talking openly about whether Dorsey should stay or go, but the general consensus does not seem to be positive. While Twitter's stock jumped 7% on the news when it first broke last Thursday, since then the reaction has been much more muted.

The stock closed down $1 on Friday, and is down $1.17, or 3.26%, to $34.73 a share on Monday.

One other proponent of Dorsey staying on at Twitter is Vator's founder and CEO Bambi Francisco Roizen, who wrote that "Jack Dorsey's return to Twitter is a plus."

"If Jack is anything close to a Jobs, then the company is at an attractive growth position. If he continues to make smart decisions that he's been making at Square, then the future is promising. He did make great hiring decisions, after all, he brought in Keith Rabois, now at Khosla Ventures, to be Square's COO, and Keith is undoubtedly one of the best operators I know," she said.

"If news of Google's interest in Twitter is real, and Jack can come up with some new cool ideas, which I believe most people believe he can, Twitter is definitely pretty attractive right now."

VatorNews has reached out to Twitter for comment. We will update this story if we learn more. 

(Image source: wired.co.uk)

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Twitter

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.

 

What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.

5

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Joined Vator on

Founder Vator, Managing Partner - Vator Investment Club; Former Columnist/correspondent Dow Jones MarketWatch; Business anchor CBS affiliate KPIX
44918

Dick Costolo

Joined Vator on